How to Know When to Change Your Dog’s Diet
Having a dog in your life can be a blessing – inviting a puppy into your family and home has so many benefits. They provide companionship, joy, friendship, unconditional love, and are incredibly good for your mental health. While you may be perfectly happy to put in the time and effort required in taking care of your pup, it can still be quite a considerable responsibility. You are responsible for the health and happiness of another life, so providing them with enough attention and appropriate care is vital.
At different stages in your dog’s life, they will have different needs, including their dietary and nutritional requirements. It is important to be aware of when and why you may need to change your dog’s diet, as well as how to go about doing so.
When and Why You Might Need to Change Your Dog’s Diet
As they progress through the various stages of their lives, your dog’s dietary needs may shift over time and you will have to alter their diet accordingly. The first instance of this you will encounter is switching from puppy food to adult dog food. “Puppies need considerably more protein, for example, while older dogs need progressively less protein in their diets. There are specialty foods available for puppies before you begin transitioning them into regular adult dog food, as well as foods with reduced protein and additional supplements for senior dogs,” says Rachael Jones, a pet blogger at Writemyx and Next Coursework.
Another situation that demands a change of diet is if your dog is reacting badly in some way to their current food. If you notice them vomiting or having diarrhoea, or scratching their skin more than usual, it may be a sign that they are developing a food sensitivity.
However, since these reactions could also be a sign of any number of unrelated illnesses and issues, you should always take your dog to the vet to get checked out if you notice them experiencing such symptoms. The vet will be able to advise you if your dog’s current diet is responsible, so you can be sure to take the right steps to help your dog stay healthy.
Variation and Avoiding Deficiencies
Outside of these specific circumstances, there are still plenty of reasons to consider altering your dog’s diet. For one thing, no single dog food will ever be able to provide your pup with everything they need – so changing up what you feed them periodically will help ensure they do not suffer from any deficiencies or excessive exposure to certain ingredients or supplements. Dogs, like any other mammal, are designed to consume a variety of foods in order to obtain a range of different vitamins and minerals. Changing out what you feed your dog on a regular basis can help them maintain a healthy balance of these nutrients.
How Best to Change Your Dog’s Diet
Making changes to your dog’s diet should never be a snap decision – implementing an entirely new diet overnight is not a good approach, since your dog could struggle with the sudden change. Gradually transitioning from their old food to the new food over a period of a few weeks will be the most effective technique, as you can slowly allow them to adjust without any shock or confusion. “Try decreasing the proportion of old food and increasing the new food by about 10% every day, adjusting the time frame as needed depending on your dog’s reaction to the change” explains Melissa Jones, a lifestyle writer at Britstudent and 1Day2write.
Carefully monitor your dog as you make changes to their diet to make sure they do not have any sensitivity issues with the new food. Additionally, try to find foods with differing ingredients so your dog is consuming a variety of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients as a part of a balanced diet.
Consistency is Key!
Consistency is by far the most vital thing to be conscious of during this process. It is important to be aware of other factors that may affect your pup’s ability to smoothly transition to a new diet – maintain their usual feeding schedule and do not feed them any ‘extras’ (i.e. human foods, treats, etc.). This process can take anywhere from a week, up to a few months, so be prepared to put the time and effort into changing your dog’s diet.
Michael Dehoyos is a writer and editor at Phd Kingdom and Academic Brits. He assists people with their writing projects, from books to blogs, as well as sharing his knowledge by contributing to numerous sites and publications, the academic service, Origin Writings , amongst them.
This blog was contributed by Michael Dehoyos. If you would like to submit a blog please email firstname.lastname@example.org